Monday, January 2, 2012

March 1940: Daring Mystery Comics #4

 Cover by Alex Schomburg

'The Purple Mask' (by Maurice Gutwirth): The Purple Mask stops a gang of bank robbers that has (gasp!) committed the robbery at the behest of the bank manager himself! Once again this is terribly generic, and the storytelling is choppy.  This is the last appearance of the Purple Mask in the Golden Age.  He next appears in The Twelve in 2008, in his original and superior identity as the Laughing Mask.

'K-4 and His Sky Devils' (by Maurice Gutwirth): K-4 and his posse take on a Nazi zeppelin that has dropped a bunch of mines into the Thames. The adventure is not terribly interesting, but the panel that shows the zeppelin exploding is quite impressive.

'Monako, Prince of Magic' (by Larry Antoinette): Monako is back, having not appeared since Daring Mystery Comics #1.  He's on the trail of his old enemy Muro, who has stolen the defense plans to the Panama Canal. I wasn't greatly enjoying this, until a scene where Monako rides on the back of a giant vulture came along to liven it up. But on the whole Monako is just too powerful for the story to provide any drama.

'Whirlwind Carter of the Interplanetary Service' (by Fletcher Hanks): Whirlwind Carter is the head of the Interplanetary Secret Service on Venus. When Martians conquer Earth, Carter rallies the Earth-men and leads them in an attack to retake the planet. There's some seriously economical storytelling going on here. "Millions of Earthpeople are overcome and captured by the Martian." That's a single panel. It shouldn't work, but it carries it off with some gonzo flair. I love that the Martians just load every person on Earth into a rocket and fire them into space.

'Marvex the Super Robot' (by Hal Sharp): Marvex must stop a prison riot. Without his bizarre disrobing habits from last issue, Marvex becomes just another robot, albeit one who spends a lot of time punching crooks.

'G-Man Don Gorman' (possibly by Jack Alderman): Don Gorman has invented a new "super-supercharged" airplane engine, and must stop a plot by the Nazis to steal one hundred passenger planes that have been fitted with it. This would normally be very pedestrian material, but the creators really sell the fact that hundreds of people have gone missing along with the planes, giving it an added sense of urgency.  This is the only appearance of this strip.

'Breeze Barton in the World of Savages' (by Jack Binder): After his other-dimensional adventure last issue, Breeze returns to Earth, only to find that fifty years have gone by and that the war of 1945 has destroyed civilisation. Breeze assumes leadership of a village that is fighting against some primitive hordes. I like the set-up here. It has a lot of potential, even if this particular story isn't up to much.

'Outlaw-Buster' (by Rex Evans): A crook tries to join up with some notorious bandits, but the bandit leader thinks he is a lawman due to his past experiences. I think that this is supposed to be an ironic twist, but it's unclear to me whether the bandit's suspicions were correct or not.

'Trojak the Tiger-Man' (possibly by Joe Simon): When Nazis set up shop in Trojak's jungle he wages war on them. This is worth reading if only to see a tiger detonating some explosives.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE the tiger!! Happy new year and welcome back!